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  • Eric Clapton playing at his Crossroads Festival last year. A new album is out featuring the festival's music.

    Eric Clapton playing at his Crossroads Festival last year. A new album is out featuring the festival’s music.

    After 2013’s great musical comebacks from the likes of David Bowie, Elton John and Paul McCartney, I’ve been listening pretty much non-stop to an album that came out in 2013’s last quarter under the auspices of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013

    It was recorded in April of last year and features among others, John Mayer, Jeff Beck, the Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Los Lobos, Robert Cray, Sonny Landreth, Steve Cropper and Vince Gill.

    This was the fourth incarnation of the guitarslinger’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, all to benefit his rehab facility (also named Crossroads) in Antigua.

    Blues, Rock, Country Icons Play Crossroads Guitar Festival (Click Photos to Enlarge!)

    Clapton founded the center in 1998 to help people suffering from chemical dependency.

    The album is literally a trove of amazing songs and performances. While you might think one of Clapton’s performances is my favorite (and, we’ll get to that in a minute), I do believe the best track of all is “Bullet And A Target.”

    It combines the talents of guitarist Doyle Brahmhall II (current dating Rene Zellweger) and Citizen Cope (aka Clarence Greenwood). Without a doubt, it’s the most magnificent track with the two literally on fire artists.

    Best Albums of 2013

    In no particular order here are our picks for the year:

    The Memphis-born Greenwood has been delivering such incredible and political music for quite some time now; especially on his album The Rainwater LP.

    Clapton’s own “Got To Get Better In a Little While” and “Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad,” are just superb. Both tracks from his Derek & The Dominoes songbook. Also amazing is how well these songs hold up today, given they came out in 1970!

    Another outstanding track is The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” performed by Mayer and Keith Urban.

    Say what you will about Mayer (and, truth be told, one could say a lot) his musical prowess is rather awe-inspiring.

    It’s no wonder Clapton recruited him early on for his album with the late, great J. J. Cale; the excellent Road To Escondido. It’s probably a good thing Mayer is this good, or he’d be yesterday’s news for sure.

    Clapton also duets with Gill on his own “Lay Down Sally” with excellent results. Surprisingly, the two blend quite well.

    Also represented are guitarist Earl Klugh and Jimmi Vaughan, who proves himself right up there with his late brother Stevie-Ray Vaughan.

    The great Robbie Robertson also makes an appearance, performing “I Shall Be Released” with Clapton and Keith Richards performing “Key To The Highway.”

    This album made my day – great artists, terrific performances.

    Names in the News

    Dayme, Jacqueline Boyd, M. A. Cassata, Wayne Avers, David Alexander, Mark Bego, James Edstrom, Anthony Pomes, Randy Alexander, Heather Mill, Liz Rosenberg, Donnie Kehr, Mick Fleetwood, Jason Elzy, Dave Mason, Todd Rundgren, Lee Jeske, Tyrone Biljan, Micky & Donna Dolenz, Chip.